Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2017

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John Katsilometes checks in on a grass-roots political group with impressive credentials and lofty goals

During a reception for emergeNevada on Saturday night at the Dust Gallery in downtown Las Vegas, Erin Bilbray-Kohn told the gathering of about 60 supporters that recently her 4-year-old daughter told her she wanted to be Nevada's first woman governor. The revelation sparked conflicting feelings for Bilbray-Kohn, a daughter of former Nevada Sen. Jim Bilbray: She was terribly proud, but prefers not to wait for her daughter to come of age for the state to elect a woman governor.

Thus, Bilbray-Kohn has taken action as the visionary and executive director of the fledgling political candidate training program whose mission is to groom women in the Democratic Party to run for office at all levels in the state of Nevada. The event, in the heart of the downtown arts district, was a meet-and-greet function for emergeNevada's 2007 candidate class (a pair of noteworthy guests: new Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, who wrote the first $1,000 check to the organization). EmergeNevada's wide-ranging field of 16 prospects includes Kelly Benavidez, a City Council liaison to Councilman Lawrence Weekly; Liz Carrasco, director of Community Development for Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada; Tammy Peterson, an attorney with Jones Vargas and former president of the Junior Club (and also a former prosecutor with the district attorney's office Special Victims Unit); and Adeana Shendal, column frequenter and director of public relations for Four Seasons Las Vegas.

Though the organization just began taking shape in August, its members have high aspirations and a rich political lineage. As Bilbray-Kohn said that someone from the 2007 class could well become the state's first woman governor, her father called from the wings, "Or senator!"


He was not holding a martini: During Tuesday's Canon-sponsored fundraiser at the Bellagio for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said boosting the city's cultural identity has become his top priority while in office. "Things like the (Lou Ruvo) Brain Center and Smith Center for the Performing Arts will build a cultural heritage here. That is priority No. 1. After that, it's bringing a major-league sports franchise to Las Vegas ... I think I have my priorities in order here.'' ...

Having caught a triumphant performance by Earth, Wind & Fire on Saturday at the Luxor, the hotel might consider dumping plans to bring Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil into its theater and build a Cirque show around EWF bassist Verdine White. That guy is freaky beautiful ...

Center Bar, which (appropriately) is a bar in the middle of the casino floor at the Stratosphere, has opened as part of the hotel's renovation project ...

Sirius comp: Las Vegas radio listeners (and those around the country) have noticed that Rolling Stones Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 98) has been retired, and assuming its spot is the Who Channel. There will come a time when these bands are not fighting over the same audience ...

Former KLAS Channel 8 weatherman Kevin Janison confirms that the plate LUV2SUE, reported last week by a reader, belongs to his friends Lane and Sue Kay. We guessed that the plate either belonged to an attorney or that the white Yukon GL was a gift to someone named Sue. Janison says it is both - Lane, an attorney, gave the vehicle to his wife ...

Pastor Dave? Plate on a black Ford F150, PSTRDAV.

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